Therapy dogs helping relieve stress of the LAX Shuffle

LAX has called in the big dogs to help passengers remain 'de-stressed' while the airport shuffles the location of 15 different airlines' check-in counters, baggage facilities, ramp gear, and passenger gates. 

The PUPs program (otherwise known as Pets Unstressing Passengers) has been helping passengers de-stress with puppies and volunteers of all kinds. Pups wander the airline terminals wearing red vests with the words "Pet me!" on them identify the dogs as members of the PUPs program.

Passengers who visited with the PUPs in baggage claim say they felt their stress melting away. One couple who missed their flight by two minutes because of the mess said looking at the dogs helped them feel better. "Oh they're so lovable and so sweet."

Ten dogs will be out at Terminals 2, 3, 5 and 6 through the end of the week.

Heidi Huebner started the PUPs program a few years ago to help passengers keep calm and people seem to agree they help. A description of the group on their website outlines their mission at LAX

As traveling can create stress and anxieties at airports, the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program is an opportunity to provide an overall enhanced customer experience, providing stress relief and comfort to passengers through interaction with pets. The pups are the volunteers “own” dogs, and both donate their time to LAX. They are registered with Therapy Dogs Inc. We welcome you to visit, hug, kiss and take pictures with the PUPs when traveling through LAX. 

So far, the airlines that have moved to new locations include Allegiant and Frontier which have both been moved from Terminal 3 to Terminal 5; Boutique Air, which moved from Terminal 3 to Terminal 6. Virgin Australia is checking in passengers at Terminal 2, but is still staging aircraft at the Tom Bradley International Terminal. 

Customers are advised to check with their airlines if they have any questions. 

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